The combination of spicy cinnamon with sweet, yeasty rolls offers a warm and comforting feeling that is perfect when joined with a chilly autumn morning or afternoon. Of course, cinnamon rolls can really be enjoyed any time of the day and year.
But now is the perfect time to get ready for Cinnamon Roll Day!
History of Cinnamon Roll Day
Historical records of cinnamon can be found that date back to at least 2800 BC in Chinese writings. Native to Sri Lanka (Ceylon) and also India, true cinnamon is known as Cinnamomum verum. It comes from the bark of a tree and its botanical name in Hebraic and Arabic includes the term ‘amomon’, which is translated to mean a fragrant spice plant.
Used by medieval physicians, this spice has been known to offer some medicinal properties for healing, such as helping with sore throats or coughing. By the 16th century, cinnamon had made its way to Europe through Arab traders and this is likely when it began its use in traditional styles of baking.
Cinnamon rolls are believed to have found their origin in Europe after the arrival of cinnamon to the continent. The rolls started to become popular in the country of Sweden during the early years of the 20th century. It seems that some time in the 1920s, after World War I, the people of Sweden were again able to afford luxury items like spices, including cinnamon.
But it wasn’t until a couple of decades later, following World War II, that the cinnamon roll really caught on with the Swedish people and became a delicious tradition and part of their cultural identity.
The fact that Sweden is such a cold and dark country in the winter means that cinnamon, a warm spice, is particularly enjoyed. Especially when combined with a warm, yeasty sweet roll that comes fresh out of the oven. Many Swedish people have fond memories of coming home after school and enjoying fresh cinnamon rolls made by their moms or grandmas.
Begun in 1999, Cinnamon Roll Day was founded by Kaeth Gardestedt and the Home Baking Council in Sweden (and it is also celebrated in Finland). The day was established as a way to encourage more people to appreciate and enjoy this national treat – cinnamon rolls. Unusually popular in Sweden, this day is celebrated just near International Children’s Day, which is on the first Monday of October.
The day has been adopted by Swedes, partially due to their desire to build upon their national identity which, in this case, is associated with this traditional food. Statistically speaking, the average Swedish person consumes 316 cinnamon rolls every year. So it seems natural that Cinnamon Roll Day would be, in fact, a day that is beloved not only by Swedes, but also all around the world!
Cinnamon Roll Day Timeline
First documentation of cinnamon
Chinese records indicate that the use of cinnamon as a spice and a medicinal agent goes back many centuries.
Cinnamon comes to Europe
Through explorations, the Portuguese and Dutch head out to find their own sources of cinnamon and a power struggle ensues.
Cinnamon rolls become more popular in Sweden
After the two world wars, spices become readily available again and cinnamon rolls become a favorite tradition in Sweden.
First IKEA restaurant opens
This Swedish powerhouse starts with only coffee and cold items but eventually adds hot food which, of course, includes their beloved cinnamon rolls.
First Cinnabon store opens
This cinnamon roll mogul gets its beginning in Seattle, but will eventually grow to 1200 stores in 48 countries.
First Cinnamon Roll Day
Celebrated with the intention of raising awareness for this food, Cinnamon Roll Day is founded in Sweden.
How to Celebrate Cinnamon Roll Day
Celebrating Cinnamon Roll Day comes with all sorts of delicious joy and delight! Check out some of these ideas for celebrating this day in the tastiest of ways:
Enjoy a Cinnamon Roll
Plenty of bakeries and restaurants will be excited to share Cinnamon Roll Day with their patrons! Perhaps it would be fun to head out to the bakery around the corner to pick up some delicious cinnamon rolls to eat at home with the family.
Or maybe the cinnamon roll craving means heading to the mall where the local Cinnabon store may just be offering an extra discount in honor of the day. Take a friend or family member and order up a huge, ooey, gooey cinnamon roll, complete with cream cheese frosting. Then pick up two forks and dig in together!
Cinnamon rolls are great on their own or as part of a larger breakfast that might include a cup of coffee, a glass of orange juice and a couple of eggs. It’s a delicious way to get started in the morning on Cinnamon Roll Day. And for those who don’t normally eat breakfast, cinnamon rolls can also be enjoyed as an afternoon snack or an after-dinner dessert!
Learn to Make Cinnamon Rolls
While they can be a little fussy, and they take a little bit of time, cinnamon roll recipes are completely worth it! The ingredients are fairly basic, typically including flour, sugar, eggs, milk, yeast, vanilla extract and butter. And, of course, the most important ingredient is cinnamon.
Making cinnamon rolls isn’t necessarily difficult for an avid baker but, just like any yeast roll, the dough for cinnamon rolls does require some kneading and then some time to rise. Usually they can be fully risen in a couple of hours, but some people allow them to sit in the refrigerator overnight. This allows for them to be placed in the oven first thing in the morning so they can be enjoyed bright and early for breakfast!
Share Cinnamon Rolls with Others
Of course, a cinnamon roll can be delicious even when eaten alone. But one fun way to celebrate Cinnamon Roll Day is to become an advocate and raise awareness to get others on board with the day.
Whether making up a batch of cinnamon rolls at home ahead of time, or picking some up from the local bakery on the morning of, this is the day to bring a pan into work to share with coworkers. Or pop into the bakery early and then bring them home to share with the kids as an extra special treat before school.
Head to Sweden for Cinnamon Roll Day
Those who are serious about their cinnamon rolls or cinnamon buns may be interested in an all-out cultural experience by making a trip to Sweden, where it all began. Head to any local bakery or cafe in almost any city or town in Sweden and surely a large tray of freshly baked cinnamon rolls will be ready and waiting!
And even if it’s not possible to make it to Sweden exactly on Cinnamon Roll Day, don’t worry. Swedes love to eat these delicious, yeasty treats every day of the year.
Cinnamon Roll Day FAQs
Can cinnamon rolls be frozen?
Baked cinnamon rolls can be frozen, but only add frosting to them after they have been thawed.
Where did cinnamon rolls originate?
Cinnamon rolls originated in Sweden where they are called kanelbulle, or literally “cinnamon buns”.
When did cinnamon rolls become popular?
After World War II, cinnamon became more easily sourced and cinnamon rolls became more popular in Sweden and around the world.
Do cinnamon rolls contain dairy?
Though many cinnamon roll recipes contain milk, they can easily be made vegan by substituting plant based milks.
Are cinnamon rolls healthy?
Most cinnamon rolls are filled with a lot of fat and sugars, making them not as healthy as some other snack options.